How green bottlenecks threaten the clean energy business
A great green investment boom is underway. "This sudden shift in how resources are allocated is causing stresses and strains as demand surges for raw materials and a scramble occurs for the few projects with regulatory approval. We calculate that the price of a basket of five minerals used in electric cars and power grids has soared by 139% in the past year. Timber mafias are roaming Ecuadorean forests to find balsa wood used in wind-turbine blades. In February a British auction of sea-bed rights for offshore wind farms brought in up to $12bn because energy firms rushed to get exposure whatever the cost. The shortages extend to finance: as a mass of money chases a few renewable-energy firms, valuations have been stretched into bubbly territory. Although the weight of the renewable-energy industry in consumer-price indices is still small, some financiers fear that supply shortages over years could eventually fuel higher inflation."
From The Economist